Mar 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

Some, not in the best focus, male Cirl Buntings taken at max zoom (50X) on my canon SX50, could actually have been 60x with some digital topping off the optical. However I didn't have to travel far to snap them, in fact I walked from my office. The previous day I heard them,  but was too far away to identify them. The next day was Saturday the 15 of March and far from bewaring the day I was out with canon and binos, I was lucky to get any confirmation photos as these birds do not like human company especially in full PPE! The Cirl Bunting is a Mediterranean bird and is at its northern extremity in Devon. As posted before, in birdguides the photos of Cirl Buntings are mostly from Devon and the sites are not disclosed, neither is mine for you would have about 3Km of road length to search. The male's plumage in the photo is not fully developed as it should have a black bib and the head and facial stripes should be more fully developed black. If you were looking for a house in a moderate winter climate you could (maybe) scupper your estate agent by asking if Cirl Buntings breed nearby!! as they appear to not tolerate a winter temp that falls below 6 degrees C, in fact they have a very fancy title for the climatic conditions they occupy, thermo-helio-xerophile. Plus they react to changes in micro climate and within a region normally occupied will disperse if the micro climate doesn't suit. This is a bird that needs tall perches for singing, ground seeds, and invertebrates for chick feeding,  dense to the ground hedges and sunny slopes. And I would not have known that until I saw one then went to the birds of the western paleartic, , hence get out there and get birding. Look and learn.

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